Self Defense Family

You Are Beneath Her EP

Written by: LF on 27/12/2013 22:47:08

Self Defense Family (or just Self Defense as they sometimes call themselves) is a post-punk group previously known as End Of A Year, originating in Cohoes, New York. What the title of the "You Are Beneath Her" EP hints at is that it consists of four songs from an End Of A Year record from 2010 called "You Are Beneath Me", which have been re-recorded with Caroline Corrigan singing in place of the band's usual front man Patrick Kindlon.

Compared with the original recordings and the very rough singing of Kindlon that brings the likes of Fugazi or Embrace to mind, this EP adds some extra nuance to the songs through Corrigan's interpretation. Her voice is much more melodic and she sounds mostly cool and distanced as opposed to the up front and emotionally almost overcharged singing of Kindlon that breaks over into spoken word a lot. Corrigan is definitely a talented vocalist and especially on "Eric Hall" she adds an emotional depth which really makes this track stand out on the EP whereas it blends in with the rest of the songs on the original album. Because of the juxtaposition of the very emotional lyrics and Corrigan's delicate way of singing them, the result is sometimes even more deeply emotional than with Kindlon's rough and unpolished attitude.

Still, I can't say that I really like this EP. After a couple of listens the distance and delicacy mentioned above seem more like curious experiments while Kindlon's raw approach makes for more interesting long-term listening. In the end Corrigan's singing is almost too "neat" and doesn't come to its right amidst the very noisy garage sound that broods in three of the four tracks. The exception is the shortest song on the EP, the calmer "Eric Hall", as I mentioned before. Of the three other tracks the fast-paced "Marissa Wendolovske" is probably my favorite because the guitars aren't as dominating here as on the other two tracks and this allows marginally more room for Corrigan (although "Philip Jose Farmer" does have weird arcade bleeps and a pretty catchy riff going for it).

While the "You Are Beneath Her" EP is an interesting variation on their usual sound, it's just not on par with other Self Defense Family recordings as Kindlon with his intense way of singing is better at carving a place for his voice inside the noise. The good news is that the EP is the first of two announced duet EP's and can be seen as a good showcase for Corrigan's vocal abilities which might be mixed more with Kindlon's on the second one.


Download: Eric Hall, Marissa Wendolovske
For The Fans Of: Fugazi, Embrace, mewithoutYou, The Cranberries, Lemuria
Listen: Facebook

Release Date 17.09.2013
Iron Pier Records

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